The modern world has corrupted our food supply and our food intuition.
Evolution doesn’t like this very much. That’s why we’re so sick in body and in mind these days. While most people seem pretty content to trade health and happiness with yummy tasting foods (or non-foods as I like to call them), a whole lot of others are questioning the validity of eating all their meals out of plastic containers only to wash it down with pills out of plastic bottles.
So, they head off to the Internet in search of answers. A Google search on a healthy diet yields the usual suspect:
1. the vegetarian diet. Change is always exciting but after a while of limiting meat and not seeing much of any benefit at all, they start to wonder (with a little nudge from rising awareness) if all the added breads, pastas, and other wheat products aren’t the culprit. Moving on, they decide to try out the diet everyone is talking about:
2. the gluten-free diet. They trade gluten grains for rice, beans, oatmeal, and the plethora of gluten-free alternatives. Their digestion is still a mess, they haven’t lost any weight, and the depression hasn’t lifted. Even if they were sensitive to gluten, they still feel terrible and assume gluten has nothing to do with it. So, back to the Internet now to narrow the problem down to red meat and saturated fat. With hopes of losing the weight they gained while scarfing down the almost, but not quite, tasty gluten-free snacks, it’s time to test out the tried and true:
3. low fat diet. Eating salads, chicken breast, and rice they drool over their friend’s plates and sneak little bites of forbidden foods. Week in week out they fail and miss their goals (because eating low fat is like abstaining from sex when a whole bunch of good looking, naked people prance around in front of you). They become more depressed and nervous and so they figure out a way to add some fun back in by:
4. counting calories. Finally at liberty to use ranch dressing instead of lemon juice, potato chips instead of saltines as they don’t exceed 1700 calories per day, they still aren’t getting jack for nutrition. They’re still depressed. They’ve lost a little weight but they’re not really cut like they so desire. Back to the Internets, they determine it was junk food slowing them down so they try the diet all their indie friends are into:
5. the raw vegan diet. This one actually tastes great and feels amazing too. They quickly pump themselves full of agave syrup and fruit sugar and feel great! Eventually, though, energy wanes. The cells start to dry out from the lack of saturated fats, the insulin plummets at shorter and shorter intervals, and muscles start consuming themselves from lack of protein. Emaciated, they amble back to the Internet craving meat and fat. Sitting at the desk with a bag of potato chips and other empty high-fat snacks, they enter search terms like “how much fat does a person need?” and “is saturated fat bad for you?” Finally they stumble upon the low carb diet and then finally:
6. the Primal eating strategy. They start eating as much as they want, when they want, and they’re eating all the fat they’ve restricted for the last 1 to 10 years. Within only a few weeks they’ve become tolerant again, hopeful, energetic, and stronger than ever. It seems this diet fuels itself with no extra effort required. Finally, satisfaction and results.
If you think about it, it’s kind of obvious that we shouldn’t be eating anything that you can’t pick or kill with a stick, but the world has replaced million year old tradition with lab-created/altered food variants. While these non-foods do manage to go in one hole and out the other without laying us flat in seconds, they are the cause of so many premature and miserable deaths. People are starting to realize it and it is because of this that:
The Paleo movement is growing!
Transitions like those described above are starting to happen to people all over the country (and, indeed, the world). People tell their friends and those people tell theirs. The word is spreading that there is a better way. And it’s happening rather fast. Just 7 or so years ago Dr. Loren Cordain’s, The Paleo Diet, came out. That was about all there was on the subject at the time but now there is a shelf of books dedicated to the subject, hundreds of blogs documenting progress and promoting the movement, and even a host of money driven fools getting angry with their tenuous grasp on the ill health that pads their wallets.
J. Stanton recently noted that Paleo has reached “the ominous stage 3” in the growth of a movement. (If you haven’t read this article, read it. It is rad.)
- People who are addicted to sweet, starchy, and chemical laden foods get angry with those of us who claim they’re bad because they don’t want to have to give them up.
- People who have suffered a life time of health problems get angry at the idea that they’ve been doing things wrong their whole lives.
- Associations and agencies who have misled the American public for decades are threatened by our success with a totally opposite approach. They have to admit that they were wrong and that their advice was the cause of the death and misery of millions.
- Drug companies and agriculturists will lash out against us as they lose their tenuous grasp on the drug and junk food industry. As everyone recovers from illnesses through the avoidance of snack foods, they go broke.
A lot of people have a lot of reasons to fight against us. And fight they do. This is a good sign. While it will, indeed, make the fight harder for us (especially parents), it is proof that we’re on to something here. When all the money grubbing, self-interested entities hate us, we must be doing something right.
500 Blogs and 10,000 anecdotes
The Primal Toad is constantly adding to an unbelievably long list of Paleo bloggers. There are over 500 paleo blogs on his list. No that wasn’t a typo! There really are 500 paleo bloggers out there documenting their long-term success with the primal diet and lifestyle strategy. Just think how many more there are who aren’t writing about it (think commenters) – hundreds of thousands. Mark Sisson told me that he has over 10,000 visits per day to his blog. Yeah, Paleo is no joke.
People are actually getting well and paleo children are growing strong.
The older and healthier these new paleo kids get, the easier it is for people to believe in it. Kids who grow healthier and calmer on the paleo diet than their friends on the standard American diet help support the movement.
My own daughter is 5 years old and she’s just about the easiest kid you could get. How many moms can say that about their kids? She’s tall, thin, active, good natured, never ever sick (we haven’t even bothered with a family doctor all her life), her teeth are straight, she is and always has been a good sleeper, she’s talented, kind, helpful, independent, smart, motivated, she poos every day… Need I go on? I mean I could if you want me to. I’m not just a mom bragging about my kid here (all our kids are angels!). It’s just that she’s paleo and I have very little to complain about (except that she doesn’t like learning Spanish. That does bug me, but I digress).
The point is, there are a lot of kids growing up this way and there are a lot of parents who have it easy because of it. Parenting is easy when you’re a Primal Parent and people are starting to see it. When people see me playing like a kid in the park with my daughter, (I look like I’m about 24 but I’m 33) they ask about our secret. Why is my daughter so well behaved; why am I so youthful? I direct them to the blogs, the books, the curated online collections like The Paleo Times and ThePaleolithicDiet.com, and the new Paleo Magazine.
The Paleo Magazine helps spread the word offline!
The leaders of the Paleo movement have come together to contribute the first ever magazine devoted to the Primal lifestyle and diet. If you haven’t already, you should check out the mag. Not only is it beautiful but it is chalk full of expert articles and tidbits of useful info.
Articles range in topics from how and why to go Paleo (David Csonka), to how to exercise more like a primal person. You will find recipes by The Primal Palate and Sarah Fragoso, body care advice by CaveGirlEats, as well as reader success stories. There are a couple of doctors and nutritionists on board who offer their own research and experience with high fat diets and medical conditions such as celiac disease. Plus, in each issue is the Paleo Kids section with topics ranging from how to get your kids to go Paleo, favorite kid foods, and other primal tips, written each issue by none other than yours truly! (Check out the contributors page for more info on each writer and expert.)
The Primal Parent is a columnist for Paleo Magazine!
You can sign up for a subscription on their website. After you’ve read it through, if you can stand to part with it, pass it around to all your friends and show them that this crazy diet of yours isn’t so crazy after all. It’s big, it’s sensible, and it works!